“Because her life is perfect and mine is not.”
Ever thought to yourself or voiced aloud the above sentence or something similar? Someone appears to have the most amazing life. The perfect husband. The perfect children. Yes, even the perfect body, house, job, complexion, hair, and vehicle. Yes, her life is perfect! Good for her, right? But at the same time, we can be tempted to turn the focus on ourselves and our own lives.
And the comparisons begin.
She’s got her life together, and well, my life is a mess.
My shorts still do not fit, but she looks amazing.
Her life is flawless on Instagram. I wish I had her life.
I just can’t measure up to someone like that.
Then the downward spiral continues. So much so, the consuming thoughts often begin to affect how we feel about ourselves, our lives, our worth, and our significance. And it doesn’t feel good.
How do I know?
Because, friend, I had once mastered this kind of thinking. Someone’s life always looked more amazing than mine. Always. I found myself wanting to be like someone else or desiring her life. Because her life is perfect and mine is not. This quickly led me down paths of envy, jealously, and misery. I’m amazed I had any friends back then, because I was pathetic!
There’s much truth in that saying from Theodore Roosevelt:
Comparison is the thief of joy.Theodore Roosevelt
I’m wondering how Teddy knew of this truth. Did he struggle with comparison, too? Or did someone in his life? I don’t know. But one thing I do know, there’s hope for those of us who struggle with it.
I’m recalling today someone from my past whose life looked flawless.
She was beautiful, kind, lived healthy, had a great job, and even found time to teach a fitness class. She had great kids, a nice husband, and a lovely home. I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with her, and honestly, I envied much of her life.
But, what I didn’t see were her internal struggles. Her unhappiness. Her lingering grief stemming from childhood. She looked happy and flawless and perfect on the outside, but on the inside she was distressed and suffering. She was miserable. So much so, she left her husband and the life I considered perfect, and chose a different path to travel. Sadly, I was never given the chance to spend time with her again.
This experience taught me much.
When we think “her life is perfect and mine is not,” we might be misguided.
It’s likely her life is not as perfect as it seems. Is there such a thing as a perfect life? But even if it is, that doesn’t mean your life and mine is any less significant. That doesn’t mean our lives aren’t amazing. Because in all reality, they are.
We both know our lives aren’t perfect. After all, we live in a broken world, so naturally our lives will contain brokenness. That’s just the way it is. There’s no getting around that. You and I may be broken or feel broken at times, too. We aren’t perfect either. Yet, because God created us and formed us and has blessed us with this life, we are given the opportunity to live in His perfection.
I don’t mean to say I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.Philippians 3:12-14 TLB
God doesn’t give us a perfect life here on earth, He gives us something better.
A life of abundance, of joy, of blessing, of eternal significance, of Him. Is there anything better?
But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow!John 10:10b TPT
And He uses all we experience for our growth, for the good of others, and for His glory. It’s okay if our lives aren’t perfect. Our Savior is. And truly, that’s really all that matters.
So, the next time we think “her life is perfect and mine is not,” may you and I recall all the many ways our lives are blessed–and perfect–because of our Savior. And pray for the one whose life appears to be “perfect.”
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First of all, love the resources! Thank you! I think it’s always important to remember that we have no idea what others go through. We’re all good at hiding our imperfects and shining a light on our “perfects”. I’ve spent my life comparing myself to others and coming up sort in my own eyes. I realize now that it’s caused me to miss out on things God’s offered me. It IS the thief of joy! This is a really good post Julie!
I, too, have spent much of my life comparing, Cindy. You’re not alone in this. So glad we can help each other and hold each other accountable. Your friendship is a true gift!